Reigning 5,000m Commonwealth Bronze medalist Edward Pingua Zakayo has set his focus on the 2019 world cross country and world championships following his good run in the 2018.
The Form Three student at Kapsait secondary school in Elgeyo Marakwet was on top of his career at a tender age and wants to extend his good run in 2019 where he will competing in senior level.
Zakayo, who has been nominated as the Most Promising 2018 Safaricom Sports Personality of the Year (SOYA) Awards, broke into the world of athletics when he won silver in 3,000m at the 2017 world under 18 championships, said he has achieved much at the tender age but wants to compete with top athletes just the way he did at the Commonwealth games and Africa Athletics championships in Asaba, Nigeria.
“I thank God over what I have done this year. I achieved where many athletes of my age could not. But I still have a long journey to stardom. I want to make a difference in 2019. My focus is to compete at world cross country championships and at the world championships,” said Zakayo.
The world under 20 5,000m champion, who registered a sweet revenge Ethiopian Seleman Barega, who beat him at the world under 18 championships in Nairobi said he has chosen three Diamond Leagues- Shanghai, Oslo and Lausanne as part of World championships preparations was optimistic of winning gold in Doha, Qatar.
“My focus will be to win gold in the two world events. Though my main aim is world championships and I know individuals I will face are not easy like Barega, Cheptegei (Joshua), Waithaka (Stanley),” said Zakayo.
After upsetting bigwigs at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, went ahead with his maiden gold at world Under 20 in Tampere, Finland and shocked big names to claim Africa 5,000m title in Assaba, Nigeria.
“I have another race in Portugal in February and I may miss national cross country trials but that won’t stop my ambitions,” added Zakayo, a man born in Narok.
In Australia, Zakayo timed 13:56.06 behind winner Cheptegei from Uganda, now the 15km world record holder and Canada’s Mohammed Ahmed for silver.
At world under 18, he won silver behind Ethiopian Barega timing 7:49.17, world gold in Tampere timing 13:20.16 ahead of compatriot Waithaka for silver and Norway’s Jakob Ingebrigtsen and timed 13:48.58 to win African title beating Ethiopia’s Getaneh Molla and Yemane Haileslassie.